There has been a considerable shift in the methods and technology used by recruiters and hiring managers over the last few years, you may be well aware of the changes, the use of ATS [Applicant Tracking Systems] or Keyword Matching Software, you may be somewhat aware that this technology is involved in a job search, but we also speak to people who know nothing about ATS.

In a nutshell, if you are applying for work via a job site or job board, recruitment site, or even a career portal on a corporate website, the likelihood is that your CV will be scanned – compared with the job specifications prior to being seen by a human or considered for shortlisting for an interview.

It is estimated that some recruiters are looking for a match of anything around 80% to be reasonably sure of being shortlisted for interview. That raises the bar considerably, especially if you consider that even derivatives of words will not count, even if it is clear to a human reader what is implied.

For example, using HR instead of Human Resources could cost valuable percentage points and make the difference between an invite to interview and a rejection message.

This can be a lottery, especially if you tend to use the same CV for all of your applications. It is so vital to tailor your CV for each application you make. Those who do this often find that their job search is much shorter, and the results they see are much more encouraging than those who opt for volume of applications.

There are many other factors, including the use of measurable results, word count, avoiding negative terminology or ‘stock’ CV entries such as ‘Team Player’ or ‘Hard Working’, also essential is personalising your applications to give clear evidence that you understand the specifications of the job and have gone to great efforts to ensure that you have met their requirements.

We use the same tools as recruiters, so we can perform a pre-application scan of your CV against any live vacancy to see how well your application is likely to perform in a live application, and tell you what vital keywords are missing and how your CV can be tailored to meet the demands of challenging job specifications

If you would like to try this, send us your CV and a sample of a vacancy that you would like to apply for and we will provide free feedback.